Phillips & Associates

What Does Pregnancy Discrimination Look Like?

Employment Lawyers Dedicated to Helping New York City Residents

Having a baby is one of the most exciting and memorable times in your life. With this excitement, however, can come many stresses regarding your job responsibilities and figuring out how to balance your growing family’s needs with your financial constraints. At Phillips & Associates, our attorneys have helped women hold their employers accountable for pregnancy discrimination in New York City. Our experienced team of legal professionals can guide you through the process and help you build the case you need to pursue compensation.

Recognizing Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

There are many different situations in which pregnancy discrimination can occur. If a woman is already employed, many employers will start to treat her differently after finding out that she is pregnant. Although a woman has no legal obligation to inform her employer about her pregnancy unless it interferes with her ability to perform her job, it can be hard to conceal a pregnancy during the second and third trimesters. In any instance when your employer treats a pregnant woman differently, terminates her, or demotes her due to her pregnancy, the employer has engaged in unlawful discrimination.

Some pregnancy discrimination can be rather blatant, including outright statements that a pregnant woman is not capable of working or that pregnant women do not belong in the workplace. Other pregnancy related comments include:

  • Wow you’re getting big.
  • Do you know who the father is?
  • Who is going to watch your child while you work?
  • How can you work and take care of a child at the same time?
  • You should get an abortion.
  • Being told you are too young (or too old) to have kids.
  • Telling an employee to freeze their eggs so they can focus on work.

An employer may try to find an excuse for terminating, demoting, or reducing the pay of a pregnant woman. Some employers use excuses like downsizing, company reorganization, or arbitrary personnel decisions to shield their motives. According to state and federal laws, however, an employer cannot use these ulterior motives to penalize a pregnant employee.

Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination can continue even after a woman has given birth. The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles “eligible” employees to take 12 weeks of leave after giving birth to her baby. Some employers see this more as an inconvenience than allowing a mother to bond with her new child and to provide her newborn the care that it needs. Once a mother returns to work, there may be instances in which the mother must take time off in order to attend doctor’s appointments or to care for her newborn. Many employers will discriminate against a new mother on this basis, claiming that she is unable to perform her job duties. In reality, being a new mother is difficult and involves many sleepless nights. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees solely on the basis of their status as new mothers.

Discuss a Pregnancy Discrimination Claim with a New York City Attorney

At Phillips & Associates, we believe that discrimination in the workplace is the last thing you should have to deal with during this new and exciting time in your life. If you have been the target of harassment based on your pregnancy, you may bring a claim against your employer to seek compensation. A multitude of laws, including the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, provide protections and remedies for working mothers. Our team of New York City lawyers have helped individuals hold their employers accountable for wrongful termination or retaliation, among other unlawful conduct. We offer a free consultation, and we do not collect any fees unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Call us now at 1-212-248-7431 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We have assisted employees throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.

45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107
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